Trying to Lose Weight? Here's the Top 5 Dieting Mistakes & How to Fix Them! by Donna John
From meetings filled with delicious pastries to a comfortable bed calling our name after an exhausting day at the office, obstacles are all around us. Staying on track can be hard. Susan Bowerman, a registered dietitian at Herbalife Nutrition, shares the top five mistakes and easy fixes for diet self-sabotage.
- Diet sabotage #1: You skip meals or cut back too far. It’s almost logical to think that if you skip meals or cut your food intake drastically you’ll cut out more calories over the course of the day, but skipping meals and cutting back leads to uncontrollable hunger and overeating. The fix: Plan out how you can distribute your daily calories over three meals and one or two snacks. It’s easier to practice portion control when you know you’ll be eating every few hours, and you’ll help to break the “starve-then-binge” habit.
- Diet Sabotage #2: You overeat on the weekends. It isn’t hard to undo a week of careful eating with just a few indulgences over the weekend. Your weight isn’t going to budge if you’re constantly taking two steps forward and two steps back. The fix: Do your weekly weigh-in on Friday mornings rather than Mondays. If you’ve had a good week, it will show on the scale and will help keep you motivated throughout the weekend. You can also “bank” a few calories during the week to spend on the weekend, but be careful and make sure you know the calorie content of your indulgences.
- Diet Sabotage #3: You try to do too much at once. If you’re a couch potato who never cooks, do you really think you can suddenly commit to running every single morning and cooking healthy lunches and dinners every day? The fix: Set reasonable goals for yourself and prioritize them. Maybe you first want to work on your exercise regimen first and seek out healthier choices in restaurants for the time being. You can tackle the home cooking later on.
- Diet Sabotage #4: You reward yourself for exercising with food. Many people fool themselves into thinking they’ve burned off a lot more calories during exercise than they actually have, and they use that as an excuse to indulge. The fix: Be aware of how many calories you actually burn when you exercise (you can find lots of resources online), and compare that to the calories you’re tempted to take in afterwards. Keep a log of the type of exercise you do and the amount of time you spend doing it. That’s the feedback and the reward you need.
- Diet Sabotage #5: You don’t give new habits time to get established. It can take weeks for new habits to take hold. But if you don’t acknowledge that, you might give up after just a few days and call yourself a failure. The fix: First, make sure that the new habit you’re trying to establish is reasonable and something you can actually do. Acknowledge that changing behavior is a process, and that you’re going to slip into old habits from time to time. Give yourself credit for each and every time you perform a new habit in place of the old one.
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